Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

August 30, 2013

State replacing GED with new exam

Officials say exam is expected to better meet industry demands.

(Continued)

Many high school dropouts in the area can’t afford to pay $120 or more for the test, and some don’t know how to work a computer, said Bob Stephenson, executive director of the Literacy Coalition of Howard County.

“We thought it was going to be another obstacle our students face,” he said.

But Stephenson was bracing for those changes anyway. The coalition invested in some new computers to train students on and started revamping its tutoring sessions since the new GED will also come with new standards.

Then over the summer he found out Indiana would likely join a growing number of states opting out of the GED.

“New York was the first,” he said. “They gave momentum to other states to have the courage to do it.”

For months after that initial announcement, though, Stephenson didn’t hear anything else. It was like it was top secret, he said.

Even now, Stephenson doesn’t really know what’s going on.

The state is entering uncharted waters, he said. The GED has been used since 1942.

He doesn’t know what the new test will look like. He saw some practice questions Thursday and thought it looked a little more in-depth than the GED.

The science questions required some math skills like calculating percentages, he said.

Beyond that, his knowledge of the new assessment is limited.

For instance, Stephenson has no idea if other states will recognize Indiana’s assessment as a valid high school equivalency test. He said he assumes they would, but he couldn’t say that for sure.

“It’s a really odd situation that we’ve not seen before,” he said.

He and his staff will learn more from the state today during a webinar.

“That should give us an idea of what we’re dealing with,” he said.

Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune education reporter, can be reached at 765-454-8585 or at lindsey.ziliak@kokomotribune.com.

TRAINING DATES RESCHEDULED The state's announcement has prompted the Literacy Coalition of Howard County to postpone its next tutor training session. The training was set for Tuesday. It has been moved to Oct. 8. There will be another one Oct.

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